Should All Republicans In Congress Vote For The Ryan Plan? No, They Shouldn’t.

by John Hawkins | May 24, 2011 3:35 am

Scott Brown is defecting on the Ryan plan[1].

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown announced Monday he would vote against a controversial Republican budget plan that has the GOP on the defensive across the country.

The plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, has passed the House, but polls show its provision changing Medicare into a voucher-like system is highly unpopular.

It is the Medicare provision that Brown said he is concerned about, saying it will force seniors to pay much more for their medical coverage.

“While I applaud Ryan for getting the conversation started, I cannot support his specific plan – and therefore will vote “no” on his budget,” Brown said in an opinion piece on the website Politico.

Personally — and many of you may disagree with me — I don’t have a problem with this.

Here’s why.

#1) The Ryan budget isn’t going to pass and whether Brown, or any other Republican in Congress, votes for it or against it isn’t going to change that.

#2) If and when some variation of the Ryan plan passes Congress, there will be enough tinkering and horse trading done that switching positions on a vote won’t look hypocritical.

#3) Brown didn’t make Newt’s mistake and rip the plan as “radical.” He gave it the proper due by saying, “I applaud Ryan for getting the conversation started.”

The simple reality is that the Ryan plan isn’t popular and it’s not going to pass Congress. Since that’s the case, while the plan does deserve to be lauded as tackling a necessary problem, it doesn’t make sense for someone like Brown, who’s going to be in a competitive race, to hand his opponent a club to beat him with over a bill that won’t become law.

It would be nice if every Republican could vote for the Ryan plan and at a minimum, they shouldn’t be poor-mouthing it. That being said, if we’re going to actually pass the Ryan plan without it being as suicidal a political gesture as Obamacare was for the Democrats, we’re going to have to do a lot of public relations work on behalf of the plan. At the moment, the American public is simply not ready to buy into it. That can change and in fact, if our country is going to avoid bankruptcy, it HAS TO CHANGE. Either the Ryan plan, or something else that makes significant changes to entitlement programs, is going to have to pass. But at the moment, we have a lot of work to do in order to turn around public opinion and until we do it, we won’t be able to pass something like the Ryan plan.

  1. Scott Brown is defecting on the Ryan plan:

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